Sunday, March 31, 2013

Planetarium Draft 4

This bad boy draft is super short. I'm still testing out different tones for the piece.

Planetarium Draft

So here is my new draft. Not sure how to end it. Struggles. Hannah

NIght Stories 4

So I've put the old lady's calls at night into a somewhat larger chunk to avoid confusion and I've added more breathing room, but more breathing room than I feel comfortable with, but I don't know if that comes from my being very familiar with the stories and don't need time to digest anymore

How Long is the Night _6

I'll be interested to hear how this sounds in the Planetarium. Layering together sounds, I've really come to appreciate how different the piece sounds on different speakers. It's hard to know what will be the right mix. I'm struggling to get to a place where everything feels polished and balanced. I'm not sure if it's just from listening to it a million times, but the narration is starting to feel like the weakest link to me. I'm thinking about getting someone with a more interesting voice record it instead, and would love some input on which phrases are effective/ineffective.

Belated DCHS Reflection

On Wednesday, I was especially impressed with how Rick'ayshia rolled with the punches. At first, her GarageBand file opened without any of the sounds she'd been working on in it, but she was very calm while we got that sorted out. When I pointed out that one of her cuts was mid-word, she didn't complain about re-importing that clip and editing again. It was really great to see her working independently, since in previous weeks she kept looking to me for, "ok, well, what do I do next?"

I could tell that Quita was a bit frustrated to have just today to edit together her final piece-- she'd missed class once and come in late on Monday, but in the end, she really brought it all together. She is so self-aware and attentive! Even as she said, "I feel rushed!" she browsed through bug sounds, selected a cricket, layered it in at varied volumes, re-recorded her "knock on wood," kept her cool as clips got accidentally deleted when she tried to move them around, and calmly re-imported them.She does want to put her piece on cowbird, but unfortunately we ran out of time. I'm glad that Charlie will be able to help her post it.

I'm looking forward to returning on the 15th!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

DCHS Reflection

Honestly last Wednesday was great for a variety of reasons. It felt like such a relief to get the pieces finished for Kaleiah and Jaylen, both of whom picked up Garage Band really quickly. Kaleiah, although she can be really reserved seemed like she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her piece. With Jaylen it was a little bit more difficult because he had so much tape and so going through it all was really time consuming. He ended up just taking out his favorite part and using that bit. It was a little down to the wire but in the end it all worked out. 

Also at the end of the class period Jaylen inquired where he could get his own audio equipment to continue to do interviews and edit. It was really heartening to know that he was interested continuing to do the work. Apparently, he interviews pro chess players and already has about 20 recordings. I had no idea! Overall it was really fantastic to get to know the students and I think we were all proud of the pieces they finished.

DCHS Finals & Reflection

Sorry this took so long, but here is my DCHS reflection The last week was definitely hectic but I think it was one of the best. Mostly it was interesting to see how the two girls took to different parts of the assignment. Diamon was all about recording the things on her mind, and always had very interesting things to share and say. She even said it's gotten her thinking about just doing this on her own. She then had a lot of trouble with Garage Band and the editing process. Daricka on the other hand was very ambivalent when it came to coming up with stories, but then just flew with Garage Band, which was awesome to see. You can see in her piece she really tuned into how music can add to a piece and uses it in a pretty humorous way. Also I think she did a fabulous job with reading her poem once she was able to do it alone and be less nervous. Her ambivalence earlier made me worry she just thought the whole thing was stupid, but seeing her work with Garage Band helped remind me that some people are just shy. And honestly I would have probably been the exact same way in high school. Ultimately, I was worried the week before about finishing, and about their engagement and whether they felt like they were getting anything from this project, but this week really erased all of those worries. We finished in the nick of time, but the best part was seeing how excited they were about their finished pieces. The pieces aren't masterpieces by any means, they're even a little cheesy at times, but I think it's most important that they are proud of what they did. I really tried to step away and let them make their own creative decisions, even if it wasn't the decision I would have made. That said I think their pieces are still really great.

Electric Sand (Planetarium Piece)

It has changed a lot but I'm much happier with the concept now! Still needs work I imagine!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Learning Circle: Short Pieces (#3)

Hey Guys!

Take a listen to these for our (Caleb and Callie's) Learning Circle:
(This fourth one is a little longer but it is thought of as a Short within the RadioLab program. We also included it in, not only because it is really interesting but also there are also many shorter stories within the pieces about the same guy. This is because we find out that it is not one simple story, but rather many which adds to an understanding of this man's life.) 

Pay attention to the different ways people can tell a short story.
How do they put in emotion?
How does it change when it is one narrator versus multiple people?
How does the length of a piece effect it?
How do the audio effects in the very short pieces compare to those in the longer ones?
Does the music distract or direct the story? Why do you think they made this decision if they chose to include music?

Learning Circle #5 Musical Scoring

Hey all! Mickey & I have met already to find interesting pieces for April 3rd's discussion. Listen now, or later, & we'll talk more in the coming weeks!

Assigned Listening (for April 3rd):
1. "If" (7 min) By: Shere DeLys
2. "Eat Cake" (10 min) By: Jonathan Mitchell
3. "Practice, Practice, Practice" (9 min) By: Stanzi Vaubel

Things to think about:
1. "If"
There's a large variety sounds and many repetitions. Did that make the piece cuter? Sadder? What does the large silence at the end of the piece do?
2. "Eat Cake"
How does the music dynamics (cresendo, faster, slower) add to the story. What was the main emotion it conveyed? What else did the scoring do?
3. "Practice Practice Practice"
How does music enhance the subject of the story? Is it too obvious?
4. Overall Reflection
Does one piece use musical scoring more successfully than the others? What qualities does that piece have?

For More:
1. "99% Invisible" podcast
2. Third coast session: "Music as a force for good and sometimes evil"
3. "Jad's Brain"
4. "Dramatic Scoring for Radio"

DCHS Reflection

* Please take a few moments to post your reflection on this last (very busy) week working with your students. What were some of the most interesting moments from this week? Did anything surprise you? What did you find hardest? Most satisfying? Was there a moment that you struggled with? Was there an insight or moment you'd like to take with you? This last week was probably the most complicated and stressful, just because there was an approaching deadline and decreasing focus from the class at large. And who can blame seniors for being excited to graduate, and not being entirely invested in school work? That being said, I think there was some really great work created from my group. They had a good understanding of what was expected, and even with Janaija's sudden change of topic we were able to complete some very interesting anecdotes and insights. Whether or not the students were really invested in school at the time, my group took the creation of their stories pretty seriously, and had some clear ideas about edits. That was a very pleasant surprise! One thing I really want to take away from this experience is how to set clear, attainable goals at the beginning of every session. My group really responded when I started with a group explanation of what we were doing that day, and then a summary of what we were going to do the next session and how it related. I used it when we discussed the lessons as a class, but as the work became more personal to each group, I neglected that little process, and I think it disrupted focus. But overall, I was really impressed with their enthusiasm to record and their willingness to speak, and I really wish the best for all of them.


This has been an extremely rewarding week working with the students at DCHS. The loose ends finally came together for both Deshaun and Breanna resulting in two powerful pieces. The hardest part was sitting in the passenger seat while they edited their stories. As a self-described control freak, it's my gut instinct to jump in and take charge when doing group work. It was interesting to see the differences between their story editing and mine. I was surprised to find myself liking their versions more; with the little imperfections adding to the realistic cloth of their story fabric. It was a struggle to beat the clock, but it ultimately made running through the finish line that much more exciting. It was so satisfying to export each of their pieces as an mp3, give them a high five, and see their smiles. We all shared in the same sense of accomplishment from seeing the end result, and it felt really good. It felt bittersweet walking out of DCHS on Wednesday, knowing that our work there was coming to a close. Deshaun, the class clown, and Breanna, the valedictorian, showed me that everyone has a story to tell; and I've realized we can learn something from every person we meet, no matter how different than us they seem.


This last week really surprised me because it was originally a struggle to get Devante and Brook interested in the project and I was wondering how the final pieces would turn out and if they would even care that much about them. Although I still think it pushed them outside their comfort zone, I was very happy with the end result. Devante finished quick and was glad to do so, but I know he made something that he was proud of and I do think he was excited to see it up on Cowbird. Brook also surprised me. She found a topic that was important to her and ended up wanting the edited version to be the best she could make it. Although I don't think that either of them found their calling in sound, I do believe that overall they ended up having a good experience and now have not only a story that they have created which is out there on the internet, but also a new idea of sound and story and what it can do.

Personally, I really enjoyed my experience at Brightmoor. A few times it was a little challenging to keep Brook and Devante engaged but I'm so glad I was able to work on this project. It gives you a whole different perspective on the medium when you are trying to involve and teach it to someone else. This is not only patience, but also you must break it down and look at it again with new eyes, as well as pay more attention to how sound and story is told differently and can effect others differently, rather than just how you see (or hear) it yourself. I think I have learned a great deal through this process and I think that the combination of our class and their class has been an overall success.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Reflection DCHS

Quite a few things surprised me while working with my students in the past week. I didn't think they would get so involved with the project: both Chante and Brittany showed a lot of interest. In the beginning of the class Brittany was the one I was worried about in my group, because she was so quiet and to herself - but over the time of this class and especially within the two sessions I got to know her well, and her piece turned out great. She finished early, so we had some time to just hang out and talk after her piece was uploaded. Both of the girls had a lot of questions for me about college life and it was fun to just talk to them.
I don't really think I struggled with anything in the past few sessions, I've found everything to move smoothly, and everything got done pretty quickly. On some days it was hard to get them motivated (someday, maybe they will learn the powers of coffee), but I managed to get them to power through it and finish their pieces. They both seemed happy once they were uploaded, and are looking forward to our baked goods we bring next time :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

DCHS: Shelby's Story and Reflection

Because Shelby was my only partner on Wednesday, we were able to do a nice re-record of his story. I suggested a few places to adjust dynamics in the track and a few ways of framing, and he was was very receptive to those. I think, though, at the end of the day this is where he will be satisfied with leaving the piece. Like some other of my classmates, I was a bit distracted by the background noise, and it didn't bother my student at all!

I think Shelby and I will be able to work as a team on Monday to show Janajia and Unique the next few steps of the process.

Some more reflections:

These past two work days were a little hectic, and I think that was because we transitioned from recording and creating material to editing material. My group is naturally excitable and expressive, and learning software just isn’t as engaging as brainstorming and recording stories. On Wednesday, Unique came late to the class, and I had to leave Shelby and Janajia alone while we got her caught up, and for the first time it was hard to keep the two of them on track and focused. My whole group is naturally very outgoing and chatty. It’s definitely helping me learn about guidance and teaching. I found myself really trying to use the tidbits of advice from early in the semester, especially the ones about keeping on target. What helped was letting them know the plans for next sessions. It was easier after I told them that next time we’d be recording as well as editing their own work.

I think that day informed Shelby’s view of editing, making him view it as something detached from our previous work. I hope that by giving him the individual attention and having him hear his own voice, he’ll help me get the rest of the group enthusiastic. I remember I was talking to him about sound editing for movies, and panning sounds back and forth in stereo was a feature you can use in Garageband. The discussion got pretty animated, and it was nice to have the individual time like that. Because of the group of three my attention was stretched a bit that Wednesday, and it was nice to just have time to get to know each other's interests. I'm going to ask him on Monday about keeping this audio work alive in school in some kind of club format.

New Planetarium

Sorry this is late! I couldn't interview the guy until about 4 this afternoon. I have more of less scrapped the last idea I had because I found it wasn't working the way I wanted it to. I'm still going to work on it I think, but just not for this project. For this one, I am thinking of either sticking with just the first story and probably interviewing him again to be more detail, or finding a third story about moments of 'magic' at night. Thoughts?

DCHS: Caleb Moss

This past week was a productive week for my group and I. Chantelle and Corey hit the ground running on Monday. Chantelle bega working on her audio piece about graduation and what feelings come along with it. Corey started to work on his audio piece about what annoys him. I had the both of them listen to their work repeatedly and log the times where they wanted to either edit/delete/fade etc.

Wednesday, the two of them were both more comfortable working with GarageBand. Although they were more comfortable it was a little difficult to get them more enthused about continuing to work. I learned that the students (just like myself) get tired of listening to the same thing over and over again. Instead of being overly persistent and almost "forcibly" trying to get them to work, I gradually got them to begin working.

DCHS reflection

This week at DCHS was a stressful one for me. Since I have three students in my group they weren't all able to record in the first session, so dividing my attention between the students who were editing and Byron who was recording was tough. I also noticed two of my students Byron and Markel getting less excited about the project throughout the sessions. Byron was so excited about his idea in the first session. He wanted to speak about the Little Debbie cookies that he loves so much as if they were a woman he was lusting over, however, after waiting a week to record he lost momentum. He forgot what he wanted to say and got frustrated throughout the process. Both Byron and Mookie were absent on Wednesday so Markel got a one on one session with me.  Markel seemed fine with his piece on Monday, but on Wednesday he started thinking he didn't sound natural. We tried rerecording but he still wasn't satisfied. I am spending time editing his audio down so he can hopefully find some useable audio within the 20 minutes of sound he recorded, however, I'm worried that if he doesn't like anything we have he won't be able to finish his piece in time, especially since the other two in the group are behind now. Monday I think I am going to have to employ Stephanie and Charlie to help get everyone up to speed.

How Long is the Night 3

Adventures in sound design.... I cut out a few bits of the script, but mainly focused on trying to layer some sounds to guide the listener. I spent several hours wading through Free Sound, which helped me get some clips I wouldn't have been able to otherwise. I could really use some feedback on where these extra sounds seem effectively integrated, and when they "stick out" too much. In particular, I'm worried that the tunnel sound is too literal. How did it strike you? Also, do you have any ideas for how I could enhance a sense of space when I'm discussing the "miles" of night? Also, I played around some with doing different effects on my voice, but it all felt sort of hokey, and it was hard to understand the relationship between the controls and the effects. I'd love to see how others have worked with the Hindenburg effects to their advantage.

Third Draft of Planetarium Piece

I've added some more sounds and eliminated clock noises. Does this at all work? I originally had steps going through the whole thing but then I thought I liked how the bits of audio played off of each other content wise, which was kind of lost by shifting focus in that way. And it's still 5 minutes long, help!! I've made a transcript and that allowed me to cut some stuff out but now I'm lost! EDIT: Is the lady calling late at night story understandable? I just played it for my family and my sister said it confused her.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Planetarium Draft 3

Here's the most recent version of my Planetarium piece.

In the beginning of the piece, I want the audience to blindly trust the narrator.  They at first believe that she has only good intentions.  But as the piece goes on, I'd like them to begin to question the narrator's mental stability and motives.  By the end, they should recognize the narrator as a kind of cult leader.

In the book that these phrases come from, the reader can almost immediately recognize that the author is a bit of a lunatic.  I like the idea of letting that realization come about more slowly in a sound piece.

A concern last week was that the piece was too long, or that the music became monotonous.
I think that with this new arrangement of phrases, that problem has been fixed, but let me know if you think otherwise, or if you have any ideas for fixing it up!

Quita Hates Bugs

I apologize for posting this late.

Quita had a breakthrough on Wednesday. She'd been feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to pick a story, but thought that she might like to talk about seasons. She described what she loves about summer, and then, suddenly, she said, "I want to talk about bugs!" We're going to record some bug sounds to add in on Monday.

Rick'ayshia was working more on editing her high school stereotypes piece, but when I came back to check on her after recording with Quita, she told me that she wanted to change her story. I wonder if this was because I mentioned that the stories would be shared with the class, although I'm not sure if that is really the issue. She said that she would rather talk about her best friend and I saw that she had done some writing. We will record on Monday and go from there. The editing should be straightforward because she is already comfortable bringing together tape from multiple takes.

Overall, I feel so fortunate to be working with these two young women. Both have really wowed me with their moments of off-the-cuff courage and voice. It's great to hear them reflect on their high school environment, and point out the things that they like and don't like. The challenge has come in the moments where I try to help them reflect on their own voice/story. Especially the past couple of sessions I've wondered: What is the best way to help them hear without telling them what to hear? It is beautiful to watch them listening to themselves though. It seems that now, when we're so used to seeing digital pictures of ourselves pop up in social media, it takes something different, like sound recording, to really notice yourself in that way.

Rick'ayshia has chosen to work more independently, but it's been great to have Quita open up to me a bit. She's asked me about college, and shared her aspiration to study to become a nurse, and eventually earn her graduate degree. I've heard her talk about how tired she is from working at Red Lobster til pretty late on school nights, and how disappointing it is when she can't go to basketball games with her friends when she has to work. It must be difficult to balance things as she does. I've realized how early the opportunities I've had began.

Planetarium Draft ReEdit

Here is my next planetarium draft! I re-edited all of the audio and it's now all my voice, instead of the other two speakers I had. I played around more with layering the audio, and adding different effects. What do you think? Is it working better than the previous draft? Is there too much layering/is it hard to understand? Is that a good thing? Help! :) And here is the old draft, with multiple speakers:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Planetarium Draft 3

Picking musical accompaniment for my planetarium piece has been so challenging! I've been trying so many different things, and this has consistently been my favorite. I like the way the dream-like tune carries the words like an undercurrent. What do you guys think?

Student Work & Reflection

The past week at DCHS felt, in a word, real. The pressure of getting good tape, teaching the students to edit, and bringing it all together in time for the deadline has made the last two work days feel like a blur. Luckily, I work well under pressure and so did Deshaun and Brianna. We started the session with a team huddle and discussed how they wanted to reshape their works-in-progress. For both, this meant re-recording their stories. I encouraged each student get more specific with their big topics. Deshaun's piece on life originally sounded generic, but Wednesday's recording (which you can hear above) sounded much more real. You can hear him thinking when he speaks, and I find myself continually impressed by the thoughts that come out. Breanna talked about her service trip to Mali, another story that had the potential to last well over 2 minutes. I had her hone in on the most powerful memory of Mali: the music and dancing that connected her with the native people. She brought in audio from the experience, which was great! I placed it at the end of the story for now, since I want her to make the executive decision as to where it's placed. The hardest part for me has been letting go of the reins and allowing them to edit their own pieces. Even putting the above ones together felt like I was making their stories my own. On Monday, I'm considering not playing these "Take 2" pieces for them, since I really want the resulting audio to be their work with my help, not my work with theirs.

Student's Work So Far and Reflection

Reflection: Although it has been a little hard trying to get Brook and Devante more involved and excited about the sound process, I thought that the experience has been a success. I was, and still am, excited about this project because I do think it is important to expose students to this kind of art and give them more of a voice. Especially at this age, I think people feel as if they don't have much of one, and this is the best opportunity to share a story or make some sort of comment. With Brook and Devante, the process has been a little rocky because I don't think that they were a little hesitant about the project (neither of them are particularly open to sharing - which is of course fine but it just makes story telling a harder because they aren't comfortable with it). They have come around though and are on their way to completing some really good pieces, which I do think, especially Brook, will be happy to have in the long run. Overall, I'm really happy with the past few weeks.

Kaleiah's Story and Reflection

So here is Kaleiah talking about a time when she was really sick last year. We did some writing together and this is a recording of her reading that. I also interviewed her about it too so there is more tape to go through.

And now time for some reflection:

Monday was a complete turn around from how it has been going in my group so far. Jaylen was the only student who was present and so I was able to focus a lot of my attention on his story. He picked up how to use garageband really quickly and seemed into it. We hadn't done any recording yet though so we went back to the classroom. Like I said we had previously done some writing together as a group. He had responded to the question "if you were a song what kind of song would you be." Jaylen said he would be a motivational song which just really tugged at my heart strings for some reason. However from there the interview went to an unexpected place. I came to find out that he is an avid chess player which is so interesting because he had been talking about listening to Eminem to get pumped up for his tournaments. It blew me away. It also made me feel like maybe if I had taken the time to ask him what his interests are I would know more about him. Regardless, it was a great day and I feel like I really got to know Jaylen a lot better. It was nice to interact with him on a one-on-one basis and spend most of the class period just talking.

Wednesday was a little more difficult because Kaleiah hadn't yet had the chance to record anything. We went to the cafeteria and did the interview there. It was kind of challenging to work on her story together, primarily because I am pretty squeamish. It was curious that she choose that story to tell because it feels like it still makes her sad and was a really unpleasant point in her life. I wasn't entirely sure how to direct the interview and am wondering what the rest of you think of the tape? Let me know because I would value some more opinions. Overall though we are definitely making progress and moving forward with the projects together. I'm excited to hear what everyone else came up with as well.


DCHS Clips- Edited by Students

I think that De'Ontae is finished editing his story.  He seems satisfied with what he has and I can sense that he feels that he is finished, but would still like to explore recording himself more.  I feel that some of his edits are not exactly perfect, but I think that they work well enough in the piece.  If anyone listens to this and thinks that I should give him more coaching in trimming the piece, please let me know.

Robert just began editing his piece with ten minutes of class to go, and this is where he ended up with it.  Seeing that his piece is different than the others because it is a poem. I had suggested to him that he might play around with pauses, volumes, and possibly repeating clips.  In my Planetarium piece, I've been doubling tracks and using it to create an echo, in order to create a more reflective sort of mood.  I've heard this done in other pieces as well, and I really like the effect it has.  I explained it to Robert as a possible way that he could play with his piece.  In his beginning edit, he began to play with this and decided to overlap two different takes of his poem being read.  The problem is that, we have done probably five different takes of him reading this poem, but we have yet to find a place in the school where we could record without any distracting noises in the background. But Robert seems to be having a lot of fun now that he's editing, and what's important really is his exploration of the medium, so I think I'm going to let my worries over the audio quality go and let him get creative with what he has.

Bria wasn't there this Wednesday, so I don't have a clip for her.

This week has been harder than other weeks.  It has been hard for me to figure out a) what I could suggest to the students to make their pieces better  b) whether I should push them in a certain direction or ust sit back and see what happens  c) how much they are going to be capable of doing within the limited time that we have together, and d) how to instruct them on Garageband, a software that I do not have as much experience with as I would like.
I think overall, it has helped me to remember that what the goal of this project is; to introduce a new creative medium (sound), and to give the students the tools to create something in this medium that they are proud of.
Despite my worries, I can se that my students are engaged in the learning process and are proud of what they are making, and so I think we are nearing our goal.
I've really enjoyed the time at DCHS, I've had a lot of fun and have gotten a little taste of the joys and challenges of teaching!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

DCHS Audio

This is the audio I recorded with Diamon last session, cut down to the bits she remembered after we listened to the 10 minutes of tape. I figure it will be easier for her to work with cutting this down and adding other sounds than the whole 10 minutes. The other piece of audio is her talking about being an example for her younger cousins, because when we listened to her audio about senior year she said she sounded monotone, and this is her talking rather than reciting thoughts she previously thought out. I think I'll play it for her, just so she knows she has other audio from last Wednesday to work with too. Daricka was absent but I will let her record herself reciting her poem next time. Reflection: This week of working on actual pieces has been more difficult than previous sessions. I think it's probably because I'm put into more of a teaching role rather than just playing around recording different things. The previous sessions felt more like I was hanging out with the kids and felt more natural, but once I'm in a mentor/superior position I feel weird and a bit more unsure of myself. That said, Daricka is also not particularly enthused or motivated about the project, but that's not to say she hates the project. I can never really tell what she is thinking, which makes it difficult to figure out what to say to get her more motivated. Diamon is kind of on and off. Sometimes she is super into what we're doing, like last Wednesday and on Monday, but this Wednesday she seemed less excited. I'm not sure if it's because she realized that her original story was maybe not something she wanted to share on Cowbird and had to come up something new, or if it was just one of those days. She is very interested in asking me questions about college and other random things, which is really nice because I feel like we have a back and forth which I don't have with Daricka. Next week I really want to try and work on giving them more open guidance, because I feel like I've been prodding them in the direction I would go with their work rather than helping them think more critically about what they are dong, if that makes sense. All in all, I'm really enjoying working at DCHS, it's a lot of fun.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Talk with My Dad

DCHS Clips Round 2

Here are Brittany and Chante's clips from this morning.
Brittany's piece is coming along well. She mentioned she might want to re-record some things, maybe come up with a closing reflective sentence. With one more session she will probably be done with this.

Chante on the other hand, I'm having more trouble with. She doesn't take the interviewing seriously, and wasn't too keen on editing her piece in Garageband. Next session I will probably try to focus more on her, making sure she's getting her piece edited/doing more recording if need be. Any ideas of what I should try with her?

Melania P.
Edit: During the past two sessions at DCHS, I've started remembering what it was like to be in High School. I hadn't noticed till now that I had replaced memories from my high school with fabricated ones, or maybe I just forgot a lot of aspects of it. As college students at UoM we work extremely hard and are on an entirely different stress/work level than they might be used to, and I've found it hard to move my mindset back into the high school gear (Not saying they haven't been working hard! It's just different). I don't consider myself to be "good with kids" or working with people younger than myself. I've never babysat, I don't have any brothers or sisters, I don't have any cousins.. It's been a challenge even talking with them, and getting them excited and motivated. Last week's session I was able to connect more with Brittany, when we had some one-on-one time together recording. In the beginning she was extremely nervous, but eventually opened up to me and we recorded some good stories. Chante has become more open and friendly as well, however I'm still trying to get her excited about it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

DCHS first sounds

Chantelle & Corey

Brook and Devante

DCHS Rough Edits

I had about 10 minutes of audio from both Deshaun and Breanna, and resisted the urge to cut it down too much without their input. Deshaun's rough edit has a clear beginning and end, but alternate middle (one talking about relationships in life, one talking about new life). Which "body" is most interesting to you? Breanna has audio to add from her Mali service trip, which I think will help shape her piece. What would you like to hear more about?

Rick'ayshia's Project on Highschool Stereotypes

Here is the work of Rick'ayshia. She's started to edit multiple takes together. I've suggested that she could add in some high school sound-effects, but we'll see what she decides to do. The other student I've been working with, Quita, was absent the visit before last, and spent the time listening to what she's recorded previously. We talked about some story ideas, and are going to get some new tape on Wednesday.

Margaret's DCHS Clips- Robert, Bria, and De'Ontae

All three of my students are working with very short stories.
In the clip I've linked to, you can hear the entirety of both Robert's and De'Ontae's pieces.
I've included about half of Bria's recording.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Daricka's Poem

This is the poem Daricka recorded today. She has said she thinks she wants to record it by herself so she is less nervous and can get more into it. I'm wondering how I can help make that easier, any thoughts would be helpful!

Learning Circle #2 Experimental

Assigned Listening:

John Cage "Rozart Mix"
The score for Rozart Mix consists of 12 tape recorders and a minimum of 88 tape loops; the loops may be of any sounds.

Laurie Anderson "The Ouija Board"
From a primarily spoken-word album created in 1995, uses voice alteration and background music heightened at certain times.

Radiolab - Musical Language www.radiolab.orgIn this hour of Radiolab, we examine the line between language and music.
Listen to the introduction to this radiolab piece about musical language. It isn't so much in an experimental format, but it shows how small changes like repetition can transform a simple phrase into song.
Here is a whole podcast about experimental podcasts which features 5 sound artists using the same medium in very different ways.

Things to think about:
What kind of mood did John Cage's piece put you in? How did it change as the piece continued? There was very little spoken word in the piece, could you put meaning to the tape? Or not?
Comparatively, what moods did Anderson's piece evoke? Did you find the music in the background distracting? Or did it add suspense? How did you react to the ouija board voice?

From the radiolab piece: Do you think the content of the line is received differently after looping it over and over again? How do you think this technique could be used in other work? What do you think that could achieve? and from the experimental podcasts?
What podcast did you find most compelling?
What do you think a traditional podcast sounds like and how you think these artists pushed away from that?

For more:
Pirate Radio, Rick Moody, Emily Botein, Shere DeLys (under Resources on ctools)
Gregory Whitehead, Ice Music (under Resources)
UBU Web: sound (a huge collection of historical and contemporary sound artists)
A brief history of sound art (New Music Box)
Examples on
Joe Frawley
Julius Knipl Radio Cartoons (a few are posted under Resources on ctools)
Paper Radio
Duplex Planet series, David Greenberger

Jaylen's Interview

So I edited his tape down quite a bit and just picked out some of the things that I found interesting...Let me know what you think. Hannah

As Long as I Didn't Get Caught

Brittany's Story DCHS Clip

Here is a clip from Brittany's piece that we recorded together.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Night Stories Round 2

This is super roughly cut, but I tried splitting the bits of the stories up and interweaving them. Does this work or does it get too confusing? Does the clock/times still make sense? I haven't had a chance to find a better clock sound yet, but I'm planning on it!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Planetarium Edit.

So this is my attempt at making a poem from text out of my astrobiology book.
Is it too nonsensical?
Is the music behind it enough or should I add something?
Does my tone of voice work well with the content?

Any other suggestions are more than welcome.

Gettin' Tucked In

Hey guys,

So this draft is still so rough. I don't think I have enough tape for this piece to work without my voice or other voices. I am struggling with only using just what I have now. I really want this piece to be about getting tucked in at night and bedtime rituals. I'm just not sure how it's doing right now though. I started writing some memories from when I was a kid. My mom and my sister and I used to do this thing every night when she was tucking us in and it went a little something like this.

My mom: Night. I love youuuu.
Me: No I love you more.
Mom: No I love you the most.
Me: Yeah well I love you more than the whole wide universe.
My mom: Then guess what? I love you to infinity and beyond.
And then she would turn out the lights.

I was thinking about using that as my intro (it might be a nice connection to the stars as well). And then having a little bit of narration about bedtime rituals. Cue the clips of my nieces and my older sister's voice about what it's like to tuck them in. And then I was thinking about doing one more interview to round it out? What do you all think? Is that too much or do you think there is a way for the above tape to work alone?


How Long is The Night -- stab 2

So, here is stab 2 at "How Long is the Night?" Basically, I am fascinated by the idea that the night takes up time because it takes up space. I would like the listener to get a sense of that space, and have a groovy radiolab type moment where they think, "whoa, interesting." What information seems repetitive? What isn't clicking? Which image, if any, is most memorable? What feels like fluff? Also, this was my first attempt at sound effects (gathered from the wild) so any feedback on those would be great. If you have any tips on where to get sounds to use, that would also be appreciated.

Planetarium Project Draft 2

It's a bit long at the moment, but I'm fairly confident I can clear it up. The narration also still needs to be clarified a bit more. This project is my first foray into self-made sound effects so I'd love to know where they were helpful, and where they were useless. I like this version a bunch.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Narration/Use of Voice Listening Assignments from Paula and Margaret

Narration/Use of Voice

Assigned Listening:
This piece is a combination of fiction and nonfiction. Grissel narrates a plane ride and flashes to scenes back down below him.
Snap Judgment: Tonguesin Training (click on #4 Tongues in Training)
This is a short personal narrative describing the experience of church from a young boys perspective. This piece uses music and narration to create a rhythm.
Joe Frank “Odd Jobs” (click on Odd Jobs)
This is a (we are assuming) fictional tale of one man’s experience working in a slaughterhouse and a nuclear plant. He uses metaphor and music to create a very specific mood.
This is a short article about the technicalities of using voice in an expressive way. If you are interested in this we highly recommend Marilyn Pittman’s Third Coast Festival conference session: Talk the Copy (link under For More).

Things to think about:

Compare the use of music in “Tongues in Training” and “Odd Jobs.” Does accomplish the same thing? Do you think that one is more effective than the other?

Compare the style of narration in “Tongues in Training” and “Odd Jobs.” How are they similar and how are they different?

How does narration in “Wireless Nights” differ from the other narration we’ve heard? Do you think it is successful?  How does Laurence Grissell connect his narration to other sounds and recordings?

When do you think it is appropriate to use an interview (Wireless Nights) and when is it appropriate to narrate the dialogue of another character yourself (Tongues in Training)? How have you addressed this problem in your own work and did you think it was effective?

For more:
Scott Carrier essay (linked on ctools under Readings: That Jackie Kennedy Moment)
Alex Chadwick, writing for radio (to be posted on the IPP blog)
A workshop on how to write for the ear and different techniques for writing in and out of tape. Has lots of good and different examples.
This workshop is about how to make the most of your voice. How to sound natural and how to make your voice sound as good as possible. A more in-depth version of "There's a Message in Your Voice".
Meredith Monk “Book of Days”

Draft 2 (and 2 Drafts!)

The Relativity piece is a second draft of my original idea, however, I'm not sure if it is turning out like I want it to. I still like the idea but I think I'm getting a little lost in it. I did another completely different recording (Mimosa Tree) just for grins. Unfortunately, it was over skype so the quality is pretty bad (any ideas on how to fix that?). I decided to post it anyway and see if there were any suggestions. Thanks!

There's a Lot of Things Up There

I was told that the child's voice in my last piece was the most interesting. I agreed. When recording my original Pluto story with seven-year-old Alex, I was surprised to find out that he had no idea what Pluto was. But being born after Pluto was deemed a dwarf planet, why would he? It sparked my interest in finding out what kids do know, or don't know, about the universe. I reinterviewed Alex, along with two other students from my mom's first grade class to find out. I think their "insight" will make for interesting commentary in the planetarium setting, but I'm wondering if the piece could benefit from the addition of music. Thoughts?

Draft 2 Dreams & Nightmares

Here is my second draft :) I added in a short 3rd poem in the beginning, and cut some of the others down slightly. I also changed the volume of the background music and fixed a few sound gap errors. I'm not sure how I should end it/if the ending is okay as it is now. It just ends at the final poem, the "nightmare".. should there be one last poem to conclude? a waking up poem? I've already hit the three minute mark, so I'm wondering if I should cut some out then add alternative clips. What do you think?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Paula Draft 2 (but totally different)

So the Psychic has up until now not worked out. The one at Crazy Wisdom said no to being recorded and was only a tarot card reader so we didn't think that was worth it. It's still possible that at one point or another Jess and I can try going to another, but I've been working on this as a sort of plan B. It's hugely long right now, but the idea is that it's the narration of a night through some interesting/somewhat creepy stories. I'm not entirely sure where I want to go from here, wether it be shortening this version a lot, or trying to mix the stories together somehow.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Margaret- In the Fifth Dimension Draft 2

  Some Questions:
The piece starts out with a sort of intro before the base rhythm kicks in. Do you think that this intro is too long?  Does the piece flow well when in this structure?
At some points you can hear the base player talking.  Is this too distracting?  Should I play around with adding more far-off voices?
What phrases caught you off guard or stuck with you?
Was there enough variation in the music?
Would you like to hear more of my voice overlapping?

I'm excited to hear your feedback!